How important is Further Maths for physics at University? Watch

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neb_revlis
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Hello
I was woundering if anyone who had applied for or is doing a physics degree could tell me how important further maths is? I only do maths, will this hinder my chances at interview or even put me at disadvantage when i get to uni?
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Itchynscratchy
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I have just finished my first year at durham uni and i didn't do further maths at A-level

Once you get there further maths is helpful but not essential. It is quite possible to learn the maths once you get here, I did (I hope ).

With regards to interviews, only oxford give a rigourous interview. The other top unis just try to sell the department to you more than anything. If you get an interview anywhere other than oxbridge then you are practically in already.

Oxford give you two spoken interviews and a written maths test. The maths test contains only A-level maths stuff, however, you won't have finished your A-level in maths yet so reading up on what is to come on the A-level maths syllabus is strongly advised. Further maths people will have already seen all of the stuff that comes up on the test so that is an advantage whatever the lecturers there may say

I was not asked any maths questions in the spoken interview and all the maths test questions did eventually come up in my maths A-level. Although i couldn't do all of them at the time i am pretty confident that i could have done all of them by the end of my maths A-level.

So to sum up, not doing further maths is not a massive disadvantage and is quite recoverable once you get to uni. Just make sure, if you are applying for oxford, that you know ALL of the maths A-level syllabus before you go for interview.

Good luck with your application
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material breach
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If you going for Oxbridge you might want to have it. I personally thought I was underprepared because I didnt have it. Anywhere eles don't worry.
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neb_revlis
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Thanks for the advise. I am thinking of applying to oxbridge, so i'll make sure i know my maths well.
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Supermerp
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(Original post by neb_revlis)
will this hinder my chances at interview or even put me at disadvantage when i get to uni?
I'm doing NatSci at Cambridge and not having further maths isn't that much of a disadvantage. I only did Further Maths AS, (which wouldn't be that much extra reading for you since the only thing I really needed out of that is P4), and I've been able to do the Maths B course, which is for people who have Further Maths, although with a bit of a struggle in the first term when there was lots of stuff people knew already. But you could always go to Maths A if you were having trouble.

For the interview (at Robinson), they mostly asked science-y questions, funnily enough. I was asked some stuff about chemistry and the Physics guy asked stuff about capacitors which was solving a first order differential equation, which was in P3, I think. But before the interview they give you a form where you can say what you've covered so far so they'll probably take that into account. So, yeah. Do differential equations if you're applying for NatSci at Cambridge :rolleyes:

There's a test too but as far as I can remember that mostly just stuff from Physics/Chemistry anyway (if you hadn't done chemistry you didn't do those questions)
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Hoofbeat
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If you apply for Physics at Oxford they will not be impressed if you don't have FM but WERE given the opportunity to do it at school. I was not given such an opportunity and as a result it didn't hinder my application. However, as a first year Physicist at Lincoln College Oxford, I would thoroughly recommend doing it if you have the opportunity. We covered the entire FM syllabus in about the first 2wks of term and when you have the whole new experience of uni and are trying to settle in and you're struggling to keep up with the maths in the first few weeks it can be quite unsettling (and I'd made an effort to teach myself a few topics over the summer). I'm certainly not behind on the maths front now and consider it to be my strongest subject (I can do maths...can't do the physics :p: ) but it certainly did cause me much pain in the first term or so!

And one more thing...at Oxford you have a maths test which usually includes some P4/P5 stuff on it, and I was like "arghh" during the exam as I couldn't do that, and neither could I do some stuff from P3 as we hadn't finished doing the topics at school.
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emporium
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(Original post by neb_revlis)
Hello
I was woundering if anyone who had applied for or is doing a physics degree could tell me how important further maths is? I only do maths, will this hinder my chances at interview or even put me at disadvantage when i get to uni?
Wow, your doing the exact same AS levels I did and now Im doing a physics degree, aint that something.....probably not, well, at Manchester we did a maths unit in the first semester that covered further maths topics amongst other things, so not having fm means youll have a bit more learning, but it's not alot, well i say more, youll just be doing the same amount of learning as for every other unit, but fm people will be doing bugger all hehe, so its really not so bad, its not as if you have to do extra learning on top of the core, unless you go to Oxford and learn it in 2 weeks, good luck with that if you do.
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morals_officer
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I did further maths, and absolutely beasted my oxford maths test, so it is kinda useful. However, ther person was interviewed me for the physics was an awful interviewer and i disliked him instantly. Ho hum.

But at uni it's kinda different maths, you're re-taught a lot of stuff i a more rigorous way. the extra maths-handling helps, indeed spending more time with equations is a distinct advantage, but the knowledge itself isn't necesarry as you're taught it again, but properly.

Anyway, I'm 3rd year Durham physics and have forgotten most of further maths (proof by incudtion? what that?), but I wouold say it was "handy". Hell of a lot better than chemistry. Hard though,
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